Highlights from interview with Don Waddell

As we get ready for Thrashers optional practice Sunday morning following last night’s win over Philadelphia, here are some of the highlights from my interview with GM Don Waddell following the first period.

1. As I first posted last night, prospect Angelo Esposito is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee for the second time.

Here is what Waddell said on that: “We are going to fly him in [Sunday]. He’ll get re-examined by our doctors here this week and we’ll go from there. I’m very, very disappointed for the kid.”

2. As I also first posted last night, Boris Valabik will return from his rehab stint in Chicago on Monday.

“His two weeks down there are up this weekend,” Waddell said. “He’s played well down there. He’ll come back here on Monday.”

When I asked if the Thrashers planned to carry 23 players once Valabik returned, Waddell said: “We’ll see. I will initially. We’ll see after that.”

3. Waddell on the on-going contract talks with Ilya Kovalchuk: “No update. The last conversation we had involved term. What’s a long-term [deal] mean? Describe long term. That’s our discussion right now. Once we nail term down, we’ll get to the salary.”

I asked if it was true that once the season was underway, Kovalchuk told his agent to start real negotiations. Waddell said: “Into the season, once he got a good feel, after we played 10, 12, 15 games he told his agent see what kind of contract we can get.”

Waddell also said there are currently no negotiations with other players.

4. Update on Kari Lehtonen: “Not close to being on the ice. He’s in the gym here. Everything is going well.”

Those are the newsworthy highlights.

The players on the ice for the optional skate are: Chris Thorburn, Eric Boulton, Jim Slater, Evander Kane, Anssi Salmela, Colby Armstrong and Ondrej Pavelec. Noah Welch, who continues to rehab from offseason knee surgery, is skating as well.

67 comments Add your comment

sisu

November 29th, 2009
11:35 am

As I said before, is Boris going to just get a roster spot?

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
1:07 pm

sisu, based on the comments, my guess is to look for Boris to have a roster spot for two weeks. That will be his grace period. After that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded, reassigned to Chicago (if they want to risk getting him past waivers), or just waived outright without even sending him to Chicago (but if you do that, you might as well at least try to send him to Chicago and keep him there).

We are already rotating an extra d-man in the pressbox. Popovic and Schubert are both doing better and I don’t see Valabik outplaying Salmella even at this point.

Stevo

November 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

I haven’t been too impressed with Salmela to this point in the year. Schubert has definitely earned the 5th D spot so he shouldn’t go anywhere. I think Boris will definitely have a chance to stick around. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Salmela be traded or placed on waivers.

JLH

November 29th, 2009
1:44 pm

I don’t get it?! DW mentioned they were talking long term 2 weeks ago. How long can a conversation last about the term without even talking $ ? Agent: “12 years” DW: “Okay”. Something doesn’t seem right. Why would they have not moved on to the next part of the deal, unless Kovy’s idea of long term is very different than DW’s?

Chris Vivlamore

November 29th, 2009
2:38 pm

Thrashers will officially recall Boris Valabik this afternoon.

LAC

November 29th, 2009
3:19 pm

Typical DUMB don waddell NO NOTHING, this Idiot skirts around everything, why do YOU waste time Chris ttalking to this IDIOT ?

He NEVER does more than give us a repeated line of babbling BS !

Ok, See case in point… waddell “said” we would not be talking about the contract with #17, by Christmas, WELL Christmas is THREE WEEKS AWAY, plus a couple and NOTHING, NOTHING has been done… And WE are ALL talking about it… So is the entire league on every telecast !

Heck the Detroit announcers said the other night the years HAD been
agreed to, so why is waddell LYING YET AGAIN TO THE ATLANTA Hockey Fans ? Does he take us for a bunch of FOOLS, I guess so, but the truth be known waddell YOU are THE WORST GM in Professional sports today and have been for awhile, You simply $UCK !

But what really bothers me is waddell’s constant LYING, he lies ALL
the time about EVERYTHING, I would not believe that SOB if he said the sun will rise in the east Monday morning.

What waddell needs is a good 10 minutes in a ring with me, I’d whip the truth out of his SORRY A$$ !

Good try Chris, but talking to this Idiot is like talking to a stuffed aminal, you get the SAME look all the time, Hope you figure that out when you think about wasting your time talking to him EVER again !

Too bad “don” won’t be hitting the unemployment line soon, that is something he richly deserves !

sisu

November 29th, 2009
4:21 pm

Chris, any idea what will give? I cannot see 8 dmen on the roster for more than a few days. Is there an indication to Boris just getting handed the “keys” to top 6 dmen? This is really a bad situation if they just waive Salmela, consider that then the trade to acquire him was for nothing.

sisu

November 29th, 2009
4:23 pm

Oh, we missed you LAC, seems you show up only when you have something negative to say???

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
4:37 pm

No way does Salmella get waved. Look for Boris to be shopped, he may get playing time in the next 2 weeks so that we can “showcase” him.

JLH, Waddell always plays his cards close to his vest. He will give the correct answer such as “Zhitnik is a huge part of our future” if we are shopping him, but once we find no takers he is cut to spend the rest of his career in the KHL. You can’t blame him and you can’t blame Chris, but what do you expect Waddell to say?

We have no idea how this whole thing might go down, so don’t say something now that may effect or hurt your leverage later. While I would like to know more and while I would like Kovalchuk to just be re-signed, I would also like our team to be in the best advantage to make a blockbuster deal if it comes down to that or to just buy a little time for Kovalchuk to sign the contract if that’s what’s needed.

Since no one here has any facts, let’s just go with what is given to us and not ass-u-me anything either.

nside hawksfan

November 29th, 2009
4:59 pm

LAC, when you speak of DW, remember for a moment that he brought in enough talent in the off season to please Kovy and make him consider staying around. If Don locks him long term it will be a major coup for him and the city’s hockey fans, especially considering the alure to play on a perennial winner elsewhere.
Also take a moment to think about why it benefit Don to tell anyone anything related to ongoing negotiations. NO successful GM, in any sport, makes any comments until the deal is signed and filed with the league.
Additionally, I find it hard to believe that DW lies, about anything. He has always represented himself, the Thrashers and even the US national team with class.
Granted, some of his moves have not had the desired success, he constantly looked for ways to improve the team.

By the way, what does LAC stand for? Loves all c*ck?

Brendan

November 29th, 2009
5:04 pm

I’ve got a crazy hunch. Wanna hear it? They’ll shop Schubert. See what they can get. If they like what they hear, pull the trigger. I think Schubert has played well for us. It’s precisely because of that that he might garner some interest around the league. Waddell drafted Valabik 10th overall in 2004. To waive him or trade him is to make admission of sorts. No? Two other Top 10 overall picks’ future, here in Atlanta, are also in doubt. (1) Kari Lehtonen, a pending RFA, and (2) Ilya Kovalchuk, a pending UFA. What does it say, or rather, what would it say, if these three (3) former Top 10 overall picks from previous draft years departed the organization in the same year? An uneasy wince was just experienced throughout cyberland.

I can hear it now. “Depends on what we get for them.” Sigh. Yes, well. I don’t think Crosby or Malkin will be part of the return. And, be honest, neither do you. So, what’s a Top 10 overall pick worth to the Atlanta Thrashers organization? Is it like … a mule with a spinning wheel? Where nobody knows how he got it, and damned if he knows what to do with it??

I really don’t think Waddell intends to lose any of these three players. He’ll re-sign Kovalchuk, if possible. He’ll re-sign Kari, at huge discount, and he’ll retain Valabik, too. What about Ansi Salmela? Shrugs. I don’t know. How long is he signed for? I wouldn’t claim he’s “untouchable.” If someone wants Salmela, I’m sure Waddell will listen to the offer … then weigh it. Same deal with Schubert. Waddell did not draft Salmela or Schubert. Salmela came to us at the deadline last year, as we parted ways with Nic Havelid. Schubert was a waiver claim. We’re not exactly married to the guy. Waddell did draft Valabik. I think Valabik signed a three year deal in the offseason. Or was it two?

Now, I just heard some scream, “The guy who should be shopped is Hainsey, at $4.5 million.” Well, yes and no. Hainsey has his moments. And he has his lulls. Hainsey was a FREE AGENT signing, two years ago, when Waddell’s efforts to land Brian Campbell on the free agent market fell short. Not wanting to walk away “empty-handed,” Waddell found Hainsey on about the second or third day of the frenzy. Perhaps Hainsey is a bit overpriced, but we’re Atlanta. We have to pay it. It’s not easy to attract free agents to our market. We do much better to draft them and pluck them off waivers. Or procure them at the trade deadlines. Hainsey does have valuable experience in the NHL. When healthy, he can be a nice asset. Hainsey does have three years left on the 5-year deal to which Waddell inked him. I don’t think Waddell wants to ditch him yet, declaring “failure.”

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
5:18 pm

nside hawksfan – while Waddell has not technically “lied” and has always taken the classy way out, he does sort of not tell the whole truth. But like you, I am so happy that he does that. I mean if he was planning on cutting Zhitnik, is it smart for him to tell the hockey world that he will do that or should he try to get a pick for him first?

What if he planned all along to cut Erik Christensen who clearly wasn’t working out here, isn’t it better we at least traded him for a young prospect in Eric O’Dell instead of just telling all the fans that he was going to part ways with him? I don’t understand why so many people think Waddell should tell the entire hockey world every ounce of every deal that we are involved with.

For all we know, Kovalchuk is ready to sign but is waiting first to see if we make Max an offer on Jan 1st, 2010 (stop laughing at me, I can’t believe I just said that either, but the fact is that there “might” be an ounce of truth to that). Would it be smart for Waddell to say that though? Does everyone know how that could hurt us in other negotiations?

Again, we have no clue what’s going on, so that means we can’t say one way or if they really are just starting to talk about term or there is some other snag that would be completely idiotic to mention so Hockey Night in Canada can quote Chris and tell the entire league. In the meantime let’s just hear what he tells Chris and go from there.

Get The Puck Out

November 29th, 2009
5:42 pm

ESPN says( i know, i know) that Army is going back to the Penquins. If it were to happen, (that’s a big hypothetical if) who would we get in return?

Roscoe P. Coltrane

November 29th, 2009
6:13 pm

Armstrong is a UFA after this year. We get…..(wait for it)…..NOTHING!!!

look for a trade at deadline time if it’s true.

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:25 pm

testing if post goes to purgatory

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:25 pm

Brendan – I have to disagree with your theory on (not) being able to part ways with Boris simply because he was a top 10 pick. The reason why is because players drafted in his spot are busts more than 50% of the time. Boris was picked #10 in 2004. So let’s look at the picks #8-12 from 2004 and the 5 years before that. That is 5 picks per year over a span of 6 years for 30 totals picks. I bolded 17 out of 30 that I find to be sure-fire busts, and I can argue that some of the ones from 2002 could be busts also but I already hit 50% so I held off. 2003 was the only good year and even then they only got 4 out of 5. In 2000 all 5 were busts.

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:32 pm

2004: Alexandre Picard, Ladislav Smid, Boris Valabik, Lauri Tukonen, A.J. Thelen (Picard, Valabik, Tukonen, Thelen – 4 out of 5 busts)

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:36 pm

Looks like it is not letting me post this more than 1 year at a time. I will have to have Craig release the original post from purgatory.

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:37 pm

2002: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Petr Taticek, Eric Nystrom, Keith Ballard, Steve Eminger (Taticek – 1 bust)

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:37 pm

2001: Pascal Leclaire, Tuomo Ruutu, Dan Blackburn, Fredrik Sjostrom, Dan Hamhuis (Blackburn, Sjostrom, Hamhuis – 3 out of 5 busts)

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:38 pm

2000: Nikita Alexeev, Brent Krahn, Mikhail Yakubov, Pavel Vorobiev, Alexei Smirnov (all 5 busts)

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:38 pm

1999: Taylor Pyatt, Jamie Lundmark, Branislav Mezei, Oleg Saprykin, Denis Shvidki (Mezei, Saprykin, Shvidki – 3 out of 5 busts)

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
7:41 pm

So there you have it. From 1999 to 2004, 17 out of 30 of the overall #8 through #12 picks have been busts. This number can be 18-20 out of 30 if you scrutinize 2002 more closely. Ergo, we can cut ties with Valabik without batting an eyelash. All I can say is I am thankful I copied all those names from a worksheet because there was no way I was typing that entire post twice.

[...] News: Don Waddell on Kari Lehtonen’s Distance to The Rink source [...]

12345

November 29th, 2009
8:28 pm

nside hawksfan, You sure don’t know what is going on. LAC is 100% correct, when has Waddell ever leveled with the fans ? Not too often,
and I found your nasty little comment at the end, very fitting for some wannabe hockey fan, I believe it shows you are a coward to boot. sisu.
go back and check some old blogs, I did and found LAC posting positive comments when they are deserved, so your comments are a complete lie.
Read Brenden’s comments and Earl of Bud, they tell it like it is too.
Too bad little pu$$y fans like you can provide nothing to the blog,
except to finger someone for comments,that for the most part were correct. I saw the Detroit TV announcers say the years were agreed to on Kovy, now it was the money being worked out… So nside and sisu
who is not telling the truth, I’d believe Mickey Redmond over Waddell any day.

KLS1

November 29th, 2009
8:45 pm

Don has certainly made some mistakes…but I will say this, if it comes to the trade deadline and Kovy hasn’t signed, you trade him and get all you can in return.

Some say there is no hockey in ATL without Kovy, but the reality is that we have a team getting built here right now, if Kovy walks like Bouwmeester did last season we are screwed and probably will field a losing team for another 10 years.

The “captain” knows this is business, The Thrash can’t let him walk and get nothing in return, even Edmonton knew that when they had to trade the Great One. And then went on to win a cup with the personnel acquired from that trade, LA did not.

Dwayne

November 29th, 2009
8:51 pm

Lets trade Kovy for Luongo, the Sedin twins and Shane O’Brien. I think Kovy and this family will love Vancouver. Great school system, the health care system up there is second to none, and you can leave your doors unlocked at night.

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
9:43 pm

“the health care system up there is second to none”

Dwayne, if you only knew how many Canadians cross the border into NY to get CAT scans and MRIs because they don’t want to wait 2 years for that fatal diagnosis.

alex

November 29th, 2009
10:17 pm

what about team distraction, what about perseption, star players (HEATLEY. HOSSA. KOVY) ets., does’t want be here, what that says about this hockey market all we care about and DW metodically killing, getting his fat checks for that from stupid owners as long as 11 years! if we draw with winning team and one of 5 most exciting star in nhl no more than 15000 in weekend, how many seat will be full for SEDIN twins? so go ahead sorry DW get it more prolonged. but you long time ago became league laughing-stock, nobody will amased. last note: remember season we lost playoff by single point, yes in this season been first contract nego. w/ KOVY and because DW genious # 17 did’t played first 2 games. one been lost 2:0.

The Earl of Bud

November 29th, 2009
11:06 pm

A big win against Fla would be perfect for tomorrow. I almost didn’t catch that we had a Mon game with all the holiday hoopla. Fortunately for me it’s not a VS game.

BTF

November 29th, 2009
11:41 pm

Congrats to Don. He has been under alot of criticism, some deserved and some not, however he has done a great job this year by giving us a quality above average NHL club…
enjoy it doom and gloomers

Brendan

November 30th, 2009
12:32 am

EOB, I didn’t say Waddell can’t trade Valabik. My guess is … that he won’t. That’s just a feeling. I don’t feel that Waddell wants to lose this player. At least, not yet. And if Waddell were to trade Valabik, straight up, or even with form of a ‘throw away’ pick to Chicago to sweeten it up, for Cam Barker, I’d do cartwheeels! And proclaim it an unmitigated coup by Waddell. I still can’t figure out how Chicago expects to re-sign Kane, Toews, and the rest, and stay under the cap. Remember their offseason fiasco? No, “Cabbiegate.” Chuckling. And not even the problematic Hossa contract. I’m referring to the six or so players that didn’t get ‘qualifying offers’ in a timely manner, thus making them UFAs. They wound up having to pay Cam Barker at the UFA payscale instead of the RFA pay rate. With Hossa, Sharpe, Duncan Keith, Kane, Toews, Huet, and “Soupy” Campbell, Chicago will have cap issues. Some of which are, indeed, their own fault/causing.

That’s good stats on Top 10 picks who were busts. Being a GM is tough. Even a lottery pick isn’t guaranteed to produce. But, in certain markets, the GM knows, going in, that budgets won’t allow him to have a poor draft record. He’s got to SURVIVE based on what the Hockey Gods make available on draft pay. Prior to the lockout, a GM could arguably stink on draft day and COVER IT UP by having a robust budget to go land PROVEN PLAYERS out on the free agent market. Moreover, they could even BLOW that one, with some $10 million mistake. But after the lockout, any GM making a mistake on a $10 million contract couldn’t cover it up anymore. The lockout helped to make Draft Day even more important than it already was, for certain markets.

If Waddell actually wants to trade Valabik, I hope he gets a good deal for him. But I don’t think time is now. At the trade deadline, several GM’s will be looking for some added depth and toughness for their blueline. Or just to replace some injured players. That might be the time to trade Boris, if Waddell is looking to make a trade.

Joey

November 30th, 2009
1:03 am

Hainsey & Popovic traded to Chicago for Brian Campbell. It will be a cap move.

Our defense will then look like this:
Enstrom – Kubina
Campbell – Bogosian
Valabik – Schubert
Salmela

That’s a Stanley Cup Playoff Defensive Unit!

Thrashers R #1

November 30th, 2009
1:08 am

Campbell would be nice, but EXPENSIVE!
Is this real?

Jeff

November 30th, 2009
1:48 am

JFYI, Salmela can be sent to Chicago without clearing waivers, unlike Valabik, Popovic, etc.

Jeff

November 30th, 2009
1:52 am

I am hoping Hainsey and White are traded to Nashville, but that’s probably wishful thinking on my part. :)

PS: I say Nashville due to the rumors that Atlanta and Nashville may be talking trade. Nashville is lacking in top four d-men, but I doubt Hainsey is what they had in mind. Besides, Hainsey is number five d-man on a contender.

Sadtoseeitthisway

November 30th, 2009
4:27 am

Hainsey is not going anywhere due to way too ganerous contract, and three more years to pay. Hainsey and his agent have to laughing all the way to the bank. No opposing GM is going to offer a 2nd year top 4 Dman with a salary of about 600,000 a year, signed through next season, just because Hainsey is a “veteran”. The other GMs in the league are spending someone elses money too. They wouldn`t dare take on a contract like that. Hainsey is “ours”, we`ll just have to “act” like we`re happy to have him around.

World Be Free

November 30th, 2009
5:25 am

EOB-what you have stated in your posts is that the NHL draft is a crap shoot. KIDS that look good as youngsters are expected to make the transition to beng men, playing a game at a higher level. ou just don’t know.

Transition is the key and it’s not just hockey. A few years ago, the Bills had a shot at Mike Williams or McKinnie, both rated exactly the same out of college . They take Williams, who is now out of football. McKinnie is an anchor of the Vikings’ offensive line.

I am gagging at the prospect of Max being here long term too.

LAC

November 30th, 2009
6:49 am

nside or whatever and sisu, you two fools know not one thing about professional hockey and fail to see the what is really going on.

nside, as for your comment, what type pervert would say something like that ? You nust be waddell’s love child or something much darker, so just go away, because you cannot stand with real fans and who gives a damn about the hawks a collection of black thugs !

Miami Screaming Eagle

November 30th, 2009
8:17 am

If you read alotta NHL blogs, you will see most hockey fans are very unhappy with their GMs. They are unhappy with their drafts, trades and scouting. So I am not surprised that we have fans that are unhappy with Don W, especially when you see the team’s performance over the past 10 seasons. You hope for better, especially with the hiring of Rick Dudley. Duds have a proven track record as a coach, GM and player who played far beyond his abilities. Dudley has character, alot of it.

Not sure if I totally agree with LAC, but I respect his opinion and his passion for the club.

Sara

November 30th, 2009
8:19 am

nside (while crass) and sisu are spot on LAC – here the team sits well above .500 and you’re still whining and complaining (not that you are the only one). It’s like some people just cannot let themselves or anyone else be happy or content.

And why are we talking trades at this juncture involving Kovy or anyone else for that matter? Seriously, settle down and just enjoy some good hockey. Y’all are parsing this stuff to death.

sisu

November 30th, 2009
8:51 am

As a GM I doubt that there are any that will tell the fan base what is really going on behind the scenes, surely you cannot think that? That would be like playing poker and having your cards face up for all players to see. DW has improved this club this year by adding some key pieces. Now, I will say that I am not a DW fan over the years, he has made me upset more times than I can count. But at the same time what is he going to say? Kovy wants out and he will not sign with us, any takers out there??? It would not be the smartest move in my opinion.

Either way, the team is winning and I am excited over the possibilities of this season!

The Earl of Bud

November 30th, 2009
9:54 am

Fellas (Sara, I speak to you as one of the guys, take it as a compliment), Ron Hainsey is underperforming in some areas, but not for a single reason as mentioned above.

Hainsey is not doing well for us here are because he is our lowest scorer in the top 4 D. There is a rift among the D between the scorers and the low contributors. Bogosian, Enstrom, Kubina are all in double digits, Hainsey, Schubert, Salmella and Pops are getting the occasional point.

Now part of that may be because of the top 4, he gets little time on the PP. A PP unit that does very well. With Kovalchuk on the point that makes someone the odd man out which is him. But realize it’s because Kovalchuk is on the point that may be the true reason.

His +/- is low, but so is Bogosian’s. Given some of the forwards’ play and having to cover for an offensive minded blueline, I don’t think that can be totally his fault.

For his size (6′3″, 210 lbs), he has an extremely low number of HITS compared to the rest of the blueline sans Enstrom. So that is the one true knock on Hainsey that Bogosian and Kubina outperform him there so much.

But where have we improved dramatically this year, perhaps one of the reasons we are competing for the playoffs? Penalty kill. And we never added the Malhotra or Moore or anyone other than giving Kane some time on the PK. Ron Hainsey is by far and away the leader in SH TOI for those units. Even Reasoner is a distant 2nd let alone Kubina.

If you take Hainsey off of this team you risk killing a PK unit that is not just tops in the league, but may cause us to tank overall in the standings that we may not recover from and wind up in the draft lottery again.

Dwayne

November 30th, 2009
10:21 am

how bout Kovy to the Canadiens for Cammalleri, Gorges, Price and a first rounder?

Dwayne

November 30th, 2009
11:38 am

once again, Sara is telling people what they can or can’t talk about. Isn’t time for her to back in the kitchen and barefoot?

NASCAR Dave

November 30th, 2009
12:09 pm

They oughta trade HAINSEY… He’s tried to fly under the radar for 2 years here now, collecting those paychecks on that inflated contract that DUMB WADDELL gave him, over-spending, as typical protocol…

Sara

November 30th, 2009
12:37 pm

Gee Dwayne – threatened much by articulate, intelligent women?

The Earl of Bud

November 30th, 2009
12:39 pm

NASCAR Dave, can you expound on why they oughta trade HAINSEY? I am curious to know.

Smoothie

November 30th, 2009
12:52 pm

Folks, the boys have a chance to complete a very solid November with a, gasp!, wait for it, 9 – 3 – 2 record!! Wow. I’ll take that every month of the year and twice in December! Gotta spay the kitties tonite! And I think we will, 4 – 1 with a GW by Bogosian and another multi-point night from Dicky Pevs. Hedberg with 31 saves in the win.

As for Waddell, there won’t be any new news on the contract until there is an announcement of a new deal. Sit tight folks. It WILL happen. Till then, Donnie Dubs has no choice but to provide GM-speak lip service. Kovy holds all the cards and they know it. But I think the details will get hammered out here before Christmas. Let’s win 4 more in a row, get 10 games over .500, then make the big announcement. The hockey world shall quake in disbelief!

Diego from Lilburn

November 30th, 2009
1:21 pm

All hail Prophet Smoothie!!! Long may he predict prosperity!!!

Dwayne

November 30th, 2009
1:25 pm

Where is she?

Alan R.

November 30th, 2009
2:04 pm

Gotta spay the kitties tonite!

I laughed so hard at this line.

Diego from Lilburn

November 30th, 2009
2:16 pm

I’ll break this up into one part for team stats and one for individuals..

Here is what’s going right for the Thrashers this season (in case you like stats collected from AJC sources (Thanks Chris!) and NHL.com) –

Thrashers are 1st in NHL in total Goals for per Game with 3.4
Thrashers are 1st in NHL in 3rd period goals
Thrashers are 1st in NHL when scoring first (only team to have a perfect 100%)
Thrashers are tied for 1st when leading after 1st period
Thrashers are tied for 1st when leading after 2nd period

Thrashers are 4th in +/-

Thrashers are 2nd in Penalty Killing

Thrashers are 7th in Power Play Goals

Thrashers are 8th in NHL in road goals

Thrashers are 10th in NHL in home goals

The Thrashers have recorded points in nine of their last 10 games (7-1-2) – 16 points total out of possible 20!

.964 save percentage in last three games.

1st shutout of detroit since last season in April.

Broke the Flyers curse.

Diego from Lilburn

November 30th, 2009
2:18 pm

Here is what else is going right for the Thrashers this season…

Moose is 2nd in the NHL with a .932 save percentage

Pavs is tied for 8th with a .921 percentage.

Kovy is 4th in the NHL in shot to goal % at 24.1%
Kovy is tied for 4th in the NHL in Power Play goals
Kovy is tied for 6th in NHL in goals total
Kovy is tied for 6th in NHL in goals on the road

Pavel Kubina’s +/- ratio is 3rd in the NHL
Nik Antropov’s +/- ratio is tied for 5th in the NHL
Toby Enstrom’s +/- ratio is tied for 7th in the NHL

Nik Antropov is tied for 6th in NHL for assists

Rich Peverley is 5th in the NHL in faceoffs

Dwayne

November 30th, 2009
2:39 pm

Pev’s is first in game winning goals.

Diego from Lilburn

November 30th, 2009
2:40 pm

I didn’t intend to slight the offensive talent of our defense, just ran out of time to collect stats. Those are a little tougher to sort out.

Diego from Lilburn

November 30th, 2009
2:42 pm

Thanks, Dwayne! I forgot that little nugget as well!

The Earl of Bud

November 30th, 2009
2:56 pm

Diego & Dwayne, nice, but you guys missed another one. Evander Kane is 2nd in goals among rookies.

MB

November 30th, 2009
3:06 pm

In addition, Diego…

Thrashers are tied for 4th in faceoff % – surprising, eh?
Have the 2nd fewest missed shots (one more than NJ)
Are 2nd to last in hits (ahead of Buffalo, nearly doubled by league-leader Pittsburgh 384-752)
Are 2nd in takeaways – though we know this is a relatively subjective stat, still better to be on the good side
Middle of the pack in giveaways and 4th from the bottom in blocked shots

Fewest missed shots is indicative, in part at least, to my belief that we too often hold for the “perfect” shot instead of getting off shots when we have opportunities. Hard to argue with our league-leading goals for, but we have all seen instances when seemingly innocent shots turn into good chances and even goals.

Would definitely like to see improvements in hits and blocked shots…to me those go towards how tough a team is to play against and will show themselves as more of a weakness as the season progresses and play tightens. The games against Pittsburgh and Boston indicated to me that we’re vulnerable to getting thrown off our game against teams who play a more physical style of play.

Moving on, we have a great opportunity to move into December with a full head of steam with the next four games against Florida (x2), the Isles, and the Leafs. Make some hay ahead of tougher games throughout the month.

Hopefully we see a different Kovy than we did against the Flyers. The foot really seemed to be bothering him Saturday night. He only took two shots when he clearly was in position to take another half dozen, at least. Wondering if he’s having trouble planting with the foot. Hate to say it, but I’d rather see him take a game off rather than play at that much of a deficit.

Smoothie

November 30th, 2009
3:16 pm

Diego – thanks for the support…I do hope I am right about tonite.

Alan R – glad you liked that “spay the kitties” comment…I may need to update my blog with a quick blurb and picture playing on that theme.

MB – here, here on Kovy not being 100% and actually playing worse because of the foot. I think you are absolutely spot on regarding the pain when he plants for shots. In fact, I think it is disrupting his timing and interfering with the synapses from his brain to his hands as he has been coughing up the puck a lot when he’s “dribbling” the puck or doing his dipsy-doo-trick-a-roos!!

Perhaps we can afford to bench him for a couple of games AFTER we win the next 4 in a row. Really, if we hope to be a truly elite team, and validate our Top 4 TSN power ranking, then we need to clean the ice with these next 4 opponents, um, I mean victims. Let’s go Thrashers!!

The Earl of Bud

November 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

Don’t underestimate the Isles, they are playing well with solid goaltending & are only 2 points behind us in the playoff chase.

alex

November 30th, 2009
3:43 pm

are the thrashers smartest organization in league? why ovy, krosby, malkin, nash, lecavalier, st louis, yzerman, franzen, ets. got there contracts timely. i heard interview with head coach blue jarckets. he said ” unlike thrashers we wanted nash been sign in appropriate time.” i don’t belive kovy delayed. he want to be here 100% sure. why he is playing with not healthy leg if he want out. is he insane to be so risky. problem, DW and bosses, clearly the wanted kovy, but cheap. for exsemple 5 years 40 mil. not going to happen. they don’t understand this team with one big losing streak to be out of playoff picture
again. because players communicate with each other and (specially if nobody understand there language) ok go get camaleri from habs. get him out good luck. on last hossa deal only army left. check his production compare to hossa. not even close. maybe i am mad, but i am scared that suddenly production from kovy, max. antro and kozzy could be dropped if this ordeal not be solved ASAP.

Diego from Lilburn

November 30th, 2009
3:52 pm

smoothie, do you mind posting a link to your blog?

EoB – how did I forget Kane! I think potential “rookie of the year” as long as we make it out of the first round of playoffs. (Give us another prophecy, Smoothie!)

MB – I agree about both the anemic hitting and waiting for perfect shots. They really need to pick it up on both fronts.

Speaking of hitting, Allan Muir had some rather uncharitable comments about our old buddy Exelby in his Inside the NHL article from friday at sportsillustrated.cnn.com. This comment was harsh… “The gritty, if sparsely-talented Exelby has played in just 12 of the Maple Leafs’ first 23 games, and with only one fight and a -6 rating to his credit, he’s likely to become a near permanent resident of the Foster Hewitt Gondola at the Air Canada Centre when Mike Komisarek returns to the lineup next week.” ouch. I’m guessing they call their press box a “gondola”. :)

He does call Kubina the “steal of the year” and I won’t argue about that too much. Pevs was definitely the “steal of the year” last season in just about everyone’s book!

fes

November 30th, 2009
4:08 pm

you also left out that bogosian leads all defensemen with 8 goals.

Smoothie

November 30th, 2009
4:15 pm

Speaking of Bogosian, you can check out my Bogo goal counter, among other silly things, at my blog:

http://thrashingbirds.blogspot.com/

Unlike our pal C-Viv, I’ve got a little more time to do a preview of tonite’s game…ENJOY!! I welcome your comments and you don’t need to register.

The Earl of Bud

November 30th, 2009
4:56 pm

Diego – while that would be nice, anyone who thinks Kane can beat out Tavares let alone JvR has blueland colored glasses. Kane will be good but even d-men like Del Zotto and Myers are scoring as much as him. He will be way better than those d-men, I just like to print their names because they were taken multiple spots later after the Leafs took Luke Schenn :)

fes – hat tip, I am embarrassed because I see that stat in our fantasy league all the time. How I picked up Kane’s stat ahead of that I have no idea.

Dray from Calgary

November 30th, 2009
7:24 pm

EOB- With Valibek as you already know this call up will show his development and deficiencies. One thing to note is Florida had reclaimed MacIntyre and brought back up from Rochester.Have you seen him at work? I can’t say whether he can play hockey considering he plays 2 minutes a game but this guy is a beast and I’d guess for those 2 minutes he’ll be looking for Valibek. I saw McGrattan get the better of him but he had to be strategic and strong. With 2 games this week against against Florida this week it’s going to be interesting.
I was busy working and playing the last few days. We were the host city for your version of the Super Bowl, the Grey Cup. Looks like everyone has been keeping you busy.